What people are saying about the New York Rangers hiring Gerard Gallant
The New York Rangers hiring Gerard Gallant has expectedly drawn significant attention from around the hockey world. Being behind the bench of an Original Six team at Madison Square Garden has star power and Gallant is now the 36th person to be head coach.
Here’s what people are saying about his hiring.
Former players and teammates on Gerard Gallant
Former Ranger and old-time hockey advocate Ron Duguay was lobbying for Gallant’s hire from day one. He also played with him in Detroit and calls him a friend.
“Gerry had a calming presence in the locker room,” Duguay said of Gallant. “But when he competed on the ice, he made a great teammate because you always knew he had your back. You always admire guys that are willing to fight for you and cover for you, Gerry is all about that. He knows how to speak to a younger player and knows how to speak to a veteran.”
Another former Ranger who played for Gallant when he was with the Florida Panthers from 2015-2017 is Jaromir Jagr. He had glowing remarks about his old coach, especially about connecting with star players.
“It’s going to be good for the players, and the star players are going to like it because he knows how to relate to them,” Jagr told Larry Brooks of the NY Post. “And the reason for that is that he was a very good player, he was a star in the NHL, playing with a star like Stevie Yzerman in Detroit. So he knows what the stars need. Nobody can really tell you that. It’s something you have to feel. It’s something you have to know. You need the personal experience. That’s a big advantage.”
Jagr also made it clear that Gallant is no pushover and will bench a star player too. The difference he says it that Gallant doesn’t hold a grudge and it rarely carries over into the next the game.
Gerard Gallant praise from around hockey circles
Roberto Luongo who was Team Canada’s GM heaped praise on Gallant, calling him a “player’s coach” after winning Gold. The consensus from those who know him well is that he gets his team to commit and then play hard for him. This is why he’s at the top of every team’s list with a vacant coaching job.
Hockey analyst Pierre McGuire provided his own insights to the hire on WFAN Radio. “I think what people won’t understand is that there is a serious generosity to Gerard as a human being but also a coach,” McGuire said. “He sees guys struggling, he’ll help them get through it. He sees guys are not working as hard as they have to, he’ll push them to the next level. He really communicates well with the players. I love the fact that he understands the new NHL with the red line being out. He’s really embraced the new ideology of how to create offense, and I think that will play really well to the strengths of the New York Rangers.”
I spoke to Gallant’s agent, Neil Glasberg during the World Championships. He called Gallant a client whom he feels blessed to represent. “He’s got game in him, and he’s a fantastic coach,” he exclaimed. “Gallant would be great in multiple organizations. He’s the best of the unemployed experienced coaches out there.”
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